Source

https://kakuyomu.jp/works/1177354054922823111/episodes/1177354054934280322

After separating from Sakurae and the others, I returned to my seat where I was reading my book.

(I came here today to read a book, so let’s focus on that.)

I couldn’t help but notice Sakurae’s presence nearby.

But the smell of the books in the library calmed me down, and I decided not to worry about it and reached for the next book.


About an hour has passed since we started the study session.

There were several other users in the study room besides us, all studying quietly.

A quick glance at the amount of reference books and problem books on display told me that most of them were probably students preparing for this year’s exam.

We sat at the end of the room, trying not to get in their way.

“…… Serika. I don’t understand this.”

“Yeah, can I see it?”

Basically, Serika was teaching Akane what she didn’t understand.

Sometimes questions would come up to me, but most of the time Serika seemed to be doing fine on her own and I was able to concentrate on my own homework.

(…… I’m already done with it though)

I had my math problem book spread out, but although there were some questions I didn’t understand, the answer columns were filled in except for those.

In the first place, since I did not know when I would have time to spend with Shota kun during the summer vacation, I had planned to finish early, so I had finished most of it before today.

To be honest, I don’t have anything to do since I finished that at this time.

(…… Shota-kun, what are you doing?)

He is almost certainly reading a book, but I can’t help but wonder.

Besides, today I might be able to take a picture of him reading a book in his casual clothes. ……

Plus, it’s already been five days since I went to Shota-kun’s house.

I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve heard from him, but he hasn’t contacted me at all since then, even though he said he’d think of something else to cook.

I thought that he would be kind enough to allow me to go see him today.

(I guess it was a mistake not to go as soon as the summer vacation started. …… Maybe he thinks I can stand it for a week. ……)

I don’t want to be away from him for even one second, yet I get the feeling that he still tries to avoid seeing or engaging with me whenever possible.

I’m frustrated by this difference …….

“…… Sana? Your hand, it’s stopped, are you okay?”

Serika called out to me as I was thinking.

“Yeah. ……. I couldn’t understand this problem even after looking at the explanation. ……”

I gave her the answer that I had prepared in advance.

Then, Serika peeked at my problem book.

“…… Oh, this is probably a special application problem here. Sorry, I didn’t get it either.”

“I see.”

It was a little surprising that Serika, who is better at math than I am, couldn’t figure it out.

At the same time, I thought of something.

“…… Then I’ll ask Kokonoe-kun.”

“Ask Kokonoe-kun?”

Serika’s eyebrows furrowed in suspicion for a moment.

“Yes. It looks like we’ll be fine as long as Serika is here, and my part is over. While I’m looking for the book I want to read, if I can find him, I’ll ask about it.”

“I see. ……”

Adding a plausible excuse, she replied flatly.

This way, I can make an excuse if I am seen together, and Serika seemed to agree.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to keep you company.”

Akane, who had been listening to my conversation with Serika, looked up and apologized apologetically.

But I was only able to come here today because of her, so I answered with a sincere smile.

“It’s all right. Then, I’m going to go now.”

“Okay, see you later.”

I took the problem book in my hand, left the study room away from the two of them, and headed to look for Shota-kun with light footsteps.


“……”

(He’s a good writer. …….)

I marveled at this as my eyes traced the sentences of the author’s novel, which I was reading for the first time.

It is a mystery novel about a school, in which a small mystery is solved by the main character.

Aside from the mystery, the characters of the main character and the people around him are likable, making me curious about the rest of the story.

I was about halfway through the book when I decided to buy it for myself.

“…… Haaa.”

However, this is the third book I’ve read today, no matter how good it is.

The second book in particular was not to my liking and I was tired.

I decided to take a short break, and at the end of the book, I put the bookmark I brought with me and looked up.

(…… hmm?)

Suddenly, I feel a gaze and turn my head to the side.

Then, Sakurae was sitting next to me, smiling ecstatically and looking at me.

“Ugh?! Ah…….”

I almost raised my voice in surprise, but swallowed it desperately as I remembered where I was.

“W-What are you doing here?!”

I yelled at Sakurae as best I could in a whisper.

I was so surprised to hear her voice, but I had to remember where I was.

“I came here because I wanted to see you, Shota-kun.”

“You …….”

really …… this girl

I don’t know where to start, but there are so many things I want to say that I’m at a loss for words.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you, but I couldn’t disturb Shota-kun while he was reading a book.”

(not that ……)

I let out a big breath to calm my mind as much as possible and thought about what to ask first. ……

In the end, I couldn’t think that far ahead, so I decided to start with the first question that came to mind.

“What happened to those two?”

“They’re still doing their …… homework.”

Although she answered the question, Sakurae’s eyes narrowed.

“Why are you asking about those two first?”

“……!”

I flinched for a moment as Sakurae’s smile faded and she radiated intimidation.

But I answered without haste.

“…… even though we’re out of the public eye right now, we don’t want to be seen, do we?”

As soon as she heard my words, her expression returned to a smile.

In a quick move that even makes me think that …… the atmosphere I was in just a moment ago may have been a mistake.

“Well. Even though it’s just the two of us, I don’t want any strange disturbance to come in.”

Disturbance?…

I am shocked at how easily she treats her friend as a nuisance.

Sakurae took this opportunity to continue talking.

“You know, Shota-kun, you haven’t been getting back to me lately, have you? I know I’m the kind of person who likes to send a lot of things, but I’d like you to return my calls once in a while. ……”

As if embarrassed, Sakurae laces her fingers together and glances up and down at me.

The gesture made me feel a little nervous, and I ……

“That’s too …… much.”

When I said that, Sakurae looked at me for a moment, and then giggled.

“I knew it? But it was written that it would be very effective.”

“I’m sure the others will be fine. Why don’t you try it?”

“It won’t do any good if I do it to anyone but Shota-kun, so I’ll pass.”

I thought I was going to counter Sakurae’s attack, but it looks like my one was dodged as well.

Sakurae seemed to be enjoying this exchange with a smile on her face.

“……So, what are you really doing here?”

“I told you. I said I came to see Shota-kun.”

When I hear that answer, I give Sakurae a suspicious look.

“Sakurae wouldn’t take such a risk just for that reason. I know you’re very particular about complying to your deals.”

Saying that, Sakurae stared back at me with a slightly sad look in her eyes.

“No, Shota-kun. …… ..The other day, I was waiting for your parents to go out, and I guess I care about that. But, it’s not that.”

‘Not so,’ Sakurae said, and I waited for her to continue, wondering.

“I’ve been holding back. I don’t really care about the deal, I just want to be with Shota-kun. I made the deal because I knew at the time that if I didn’t, Shota-kun would leave me. ……”

“……”

I felt a strange feeling inside me.

……I knew it too, I should have.

Sakurae’s pure kindness.

However, I saw it as trying hard to keep the deal.

Something is off in me.

I know Sakurae likes me, but I can’t admit it.

“…… Hey, Shota-kun, do you still not trust me?”

–Do I still not trust Sakurae’s feelings for me that she would go this far?

A question I asked myself when Sakurae came to my house.

Why did I let Sakurae……

“Damn ……!”

“Shota-kun!?”

I held my head down due to a sudden headache.

At the same time, I realized.

–After all, that thing is still rooted inside me,…….

For a while, I was crouching down, and after Sakurae was in a panic, she grabbed the hand holding the phone that she had taken out to call an ambulance, and I stopped her.

“…. it’s okay. It happens all the time.”

“B-But …….”

I held back the pain that hadn’t subsided and looked at Sakurae, who looked like she was about to burst into tears.

“Sakurae,…… I still can’t live up to your feelings.”


“Sana, she’s late,…….”

“….. I guess so.”

It has been quite some time since Sana left.

It’s almost time for us to take a break.

“Hey, Serika ……”

“What is it?”

We stopped at a convenient spot and asked Serika about something that had been on my mind for a long time.

“Who do you think …… Sana likes?”

When I said that, Serika stopped her hand and looked up.

“…..I thought we decided not to talk about it, didn’t we?”

We both decided that in a message after we returned from Sana’s house.

But …….

“Yes, but ……. I was wondering if it might be Kokonoe-kun.”

“Kokonoe-kun?”

Serika asked back, looking surprised.

I’m not confident either, but I nod in response.

“….Why do you think that?”

Although I decided not to do it, Serika seems to be interested as well.

“After all, Sana goes to talk to the boy herself? …And I think Sana called Kokonoe-kun ‘Shota-kun’ before.”

“…… Is that true?”

I nodded again.

Serika came up with something for me.

I’m not sure what to expect from Sana, who hesitated to call even us, her friends of the same sex, by our first names.

I could see Serika’s thoughts in her hand.

I didn’t mind at the time either, but when I think back on it, it clearly feels strange.

After a while, Serika let out a sigh of resignation.

“….. Even if that’s the case, there’s no way to be sure. If I ask Sana again, she might not forgive me this time, okay?”

I understand what Serika is trying to say.

That’s how scary Sana was the other day. ……

But I had thought of one other way.

“There …… is a way.”

“Eh?”

I said, feeling fear that if Sana found out about it, we might not be able to remain friends.

“Why don’t we check with Kokonoe-kun? ”

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DudeComesUp
DudeComesUp
9 months ago

They gonna make matters worse for the couple. He’s gonna think that the fmc told her friends to do this and even avoid her more.

Akamii
Akamii
9 months ago
Reply to  DudeComesUp

Not necessarily. Well it depends on the character development too. Shota himself are starting to think that Sakurae is genuine. It’s up to him (well, author-self) how it will turns out.

john
john
9 months ago

I really feel bad for th FMC, she try so hard… and the MC its so hard!!